Sunday, November 11, 2012

Unblock-Us Review (Part 2)

Based on the number of hits and interest from my previous post/review regarding Unblock-Us as well as some of the changes made to the service, I felt that it was worthy of another blog entry.

Unblock-Us for people unfamiliar with the service allows users to circumvent certain geographical IP location websites/services (such as Netflix, Pandora, etc.). I use it mainly to enhance my Netflix subscription since as of the date of this blog entry, it gives me access to the Netflix content of 9 additional countries. However, I have also used their service to try out Pandora or to access videos from certain US based television websites (NBC, ABC, CBS, Star Trek, etc.) which only allow people located in the US (with US IP addresses) to watch/access.

The current list of 10 countries are US, Canada, UK, Ireland, Mexico, Brazil, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and Finland. You must be an active subscriber to Netflix in order to use Unblock-Us to gain the Netflix content in the other countries. It does not give you access to Netflix if you are not a paid subscriber.

Unblock-Us does not rely on installing any software. There is software that can be installed if you want to automate the IP registration process but installing/using the software is not necessary.

How the service works is that you modify the DNS settings for either your individual device or for your entire network (i.e. your router). You would then log onto Unblock-Us and register your IP address. You have to do this once every time your external IP address changes. If you've configured your router to access Unblock-Us' DNS servers, you would just go to Unblock-Us' website and activate/register your IP address. All your devices on the network will then use Unblock-Us' DNS servers as long as they are connected to the same router.

The instructions are somewhat similar to configuring an individual device except that you will have to manuall configure the DNS server settings on this device to use Unblock-Us' DNS servers and then access Unblock-Us' website on this device in order to activate/register your IP address.

You would then access the website as I normally would and instead of getting a message that the content is not available in my country/region, the video would play. For example, using Unblock-Us' service, I am able to watch video from NBC without getting a message stating that the video is not available in my country/region.

To use their service with Netflix, you would basically follow the same instructions but when you access Unblock-Us' website, you would also specify which country's Netflix content you want to watch. After doing this (if your router is configured to use Unblock-Us), all your devices will attempt to show the Netflix content from the country that you've selected. I use the term "will attempt" because I did experience issues with my LG Smart TV Upgrader Box ST600 accessing Netflix when the country setting on Unblock-Us was set to anything other than Canada or the US. I didn't have any issues viewing the other country's Netflix content when using my Android phone, my iPhone 3GS, my Chromebook, my Windows computer/netbook/laptop, or my Android tablet.

The Unblock-Us service costs ~$5/month and based on my usage, I consider it to be worth the money. It isn't a VPN service so users who have VPN service to another country (ex: the US), might benefit from keeping their VPN service and also subscribing to Unblock-Us.

In terms of whether there is a big difference between Netflix's content in the 10 different countries that can be  chosen from Unblock-Us' website service, I will give a summary in an upcoming blog entry.

EDIT: To get the most out of Unblock-Us, please check out my blog entry on Monday January 7, 2013 (click *HERE*).

If you have any questions/comments regarding this blog entry, please don't hesitate to leave a comment in the comments section below. Please note that the comments are moderated and any comment that contains a URL link (whether or not it is embedded) will automatically be flagged as spam and will not be posted.

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